So rare that it was thought to be a mythological plant, Camellia nitidissima is the best known of the yellow flowering camellias.
It was only recently ‘discovered’ in southern China and Camellia nitidissima. (syn. Camellia chrysantha,) grows naturally in the warmer climates of the border areas and across into Vietnam.
Since its discovery in the 1960s, C.nitidissima has become a must have camellia amongst collectors as well as a fascinating plant in gardens around the world. It is a plant that is being used in hybridiasation, however you can buy the species from some specialist nurseries.
The flowers are large and cup shaped with golden yellow stamens, the petals have a waxy appearance.
Growing from seed is also possible, however obtaining seed is difficult and germination can be slow.
This really is a warm climate plant, it requires a sunny protected position in order to set buds and when grown in cooler climates can be difficult to flower.
A humus rich, moist but well drained soil is essential, as is protection from cold winds. In cooler climates gardeners tend to grow C. nitidissima in containers and over winter in a greenhouse or a sunny patio.
- Botanical Name – Camellia nitidissima
- Common Name – Yellow Camellia, Golden Camellia
- Family – Theaceae
- Origins – Guangxi province (China) and Vietnam.
- Position – Sheltered, warm temperate to sub tropical.
- Soil – Humus rich, well drained.
- Height – To around5 metres
- Spread – To around 2 metres plus
- Flowers – Golden Yellow, cup shaped and waxy in appearance.
- Flowering Time – Spring.
- Foliage – Glossy green
- Frost tolerant – Very mild frost only
- Drought tolerant – No
Other Yellow Flowering Camellias include :
- c. vidalii
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